The Hepworth Wakefield Garden is open!
The Hepworth Wakefield Garden, designed by internationally acclaimed landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, is a beautifully landscaped garden free for all to enjoy.
As well as Stuart-Smith’s distinctive planting, there are outdoor sculptures by Lynn Chadwick, Sir Michael Craig-Martin, Barbara Hepworth and Rebecca Warren.
View a selection of images from June and July in the gallery below.
Tom Stuart-Smith’s design draws inspiration from its unusual setting between 19th-century red-brick mills and a 21st-century art gallery, edged by the River Calder. It echos the striking, angular shapes of the David Chipperfield-designed gallery while harnessing a naturalism that reflects Barbara Hepworth’s deep connection to the landscape.
Find out about the story of The Hepworth Wakefield Garden here.
Sculpture in the garden
Pitchfork (Yellow), 2013
Sir Michael Craig-Martin
This 11ft yellow pitchfork stands tall amongst the trees in the garden. It is taken from a series of giant and brightly coloured painted steel sculptures that resemble commonplace objects.
Appearing like drawings in the air, Craig-Martin’s deceptively simple sculptures pose questions about the role that objects play in our everyday lives.
Hear Michael Craig-Martin describe his sculpture in this short film.
The Three, 2017
British artist Rebecca Warren personally chose to show her sculpture The Three within the new garden. Warren’s bronze works are created in clay, then cast in bronze and finally hand-painted.
Taken from a recent series of large human figures, The Three was selected for its subtle icing-like palette of blues and pinks, which offset the sculpture’s monumental scale.
Warren said: “It feels like a rare opportunity to have sculptures in this setting, especially in a garden that is open and free to the public. I’m looking forward to seeing my work in this beautiful context and to seeing how it is affected by the changing light of the different seasons.”
Ascending Form (Gloria), 1958
The two diamond shapes in Ascending Form (Gloria) can be seen as representing natural forms, with the one growing organically out of the other, or as a reference to hands coming together in prayer.
One of her most frequently recurring subjects was the standing form, which she related to the feeling of a human figure in the landscape.
Dancing Figures, 1956
One of the leading sculptors of post-war Britain, Lynn Chadwick won the International Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1956, making him the youngest ever recipient of the prize. The same year, he made Dancing Figures, a subject he returned to many times.
Struck by the impact on British culture of the ‘Teddy Boy’ youth movement in the mid-1950s, Chadwick wanted to create sculpture that possessed the swagger, menace and modernity of these young men. Sharp angles and jagged postures, inspired by the way the ‘Teds’ danced to the music of Bill Haley and Elvis Presley, create a sense of dynamic motion, despite being cast in bronze.
In bloom this month - August 2020
Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’
Perovskia is a sub-shrub known as Russian sage and its pale lilac flowers fill the garden in high summer. The leaves have a pungent medicinal scent and as the plant is deciduous, these fall away in autumn. Bright white stems persist as silvery skeletons throughout the winter months and these can be cut-back in the spring when new shoots will emerge.
Native to the prairies of North America, this perennial begins the season with low linear leaves, after which a tall and wiry flowering spike emerges. The flowers are striking in their verticality and tiny, purple, fluffy flowers open from the top downwards throughout August. Curiously Liatris are part of the sunflower family and this species pycnostachya is one of tallest in the genus.
This architectural perennial is related to carrots, it originates from North America and has beautifully pale flowers, which remain a subtle eggshell colour throughout the flowering season. It’s commonly called rattlesnake master and the leaves are renowned for their tough, fibrous quality. Famously one of the oldest shoes in the world was found in North America to have been woven from the leaves of this plant.
Great coneflower is a wildflower in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas, its leaves resemble a blue-grey cabbage and in mid-August the yellow flowers open on tall flowering stems. It is used throughout the middle section of the garden and the flowers rise above the perennials around them. Rudbeckia maxima enjoy well-drained soil in full sun, although they will tolerate some light shade.